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Clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological features of a community-wide outbreak of canine leptospirosis in a low-prevalence region (Maricopa County, Arizona)

Sally Ann IversonDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.

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Craig LevyDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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Hayley D. YaglomArizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

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Heather L. VenkatDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
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Aileen ArtusBacterial Special Pathogens Branch, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.

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Renee GallowayBacterial Special Pathogens Branch, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.

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Sarah Anne J. GuagliardoEpidemic Intelligence Service, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.
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Laura ReynoldsEpidemic Intelligence Service, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.
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Melissa JoAnne KretschmerDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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Margaret E. LaFerla JenniDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
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Peter WoodwardDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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Alison A. ReindelEpidemiology Elective Program, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30329.

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Sheena TarrantDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
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Tammy SylvesterDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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Rebecca SunenshineDepartment of Public Health, Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological features of an outbreak of leptospirosis in dogs in Maricopa County, Ariz, from January 2016 through June 2017.

ANIMALS

71 case and 281 control dogs.

PROCEDURES

Cases were classified as confirmed, probable, suspect, or not a case on the basis of medical record data that fulfilled clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological criteria. Potential exposures were assessed by owner survey. For the case-control investigation, control dogs were recruited through owner completion of a July 2017 survey. Summary statistics and ORs for case dog lifestyle factors were reported.

RESULTS

54 dogs were classified as confirmed and 17 as probable cases. For 4 dogs of a household cluster (5 confirmed and 3 probable), the highest microscopic agglutination titer was for serovar Djasiman (Leptospira kirschneri detected by PCR assay), and for 13 dogs of a community outbreak (49 confirmed and 14 probable cases), the highest titer was for serovar Canicola (Leptospira interrogans detected by PCR assay). The 44 case dogs included in the case-control investigation were 7.7 (95% CI, 3.5 to 16.7) and 2.9 times (95% CI, 1.3 to 6.6) as likely as control dogs to have visited dog daycare or to have been kenneled overnight at a boarding facility, respectively, 30 days prior to the onset of clinical signs or diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Diagnostic and epidemiological findings indicated 2 outbreaks. Transmission where dogs congregated likely propagated the community outbreak. Outbreaks of leptospiral infections can occur in regions of low prevalence, and a dog's exposure to areas where dogs congregate should be considered when making Leptospira vaccination recommendations.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological features of an outbreak of leptospirosis in dogs in Maricopa County, Ariz, from January 2016 through June 2017.

ANIMALS

71 case and 281 control dogs.

PROCEDURES

Cases were classified as confirmed, probable, suspect, or not a case on the basis of medical record data that fulfilled clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological criteria. Potential exposures were assessed by owner survey. For the case-control investigation, control dogs were recruited through owner completion of a July 2017 survey. Summary statistics and ORs for case dog lifestyle factors were reported.

RESULTS

54 dogs were classified as confirmed and 17 as probable cases. For 4 dogs of a household cluster (5 confirmed and 3 probable), the highest microscopic agglutination titer was for serovar Djasiman (Leptospira kirschneri detected by PCR assay), and for 13 dogs of a community outbreak (49 confirmed and 14 probable cases), the highest titer was for serovar Canicola (Leptospira interrogans detected by PCR assay). The 44 case dogs included in the case-control investigation were 7.7 (95% CI, 3.5 to 16.7) and 2.9 times (95% CI, 1.3 to 6.6) as likely as control dogs to have visited dog daycare or to have been kenneled overnight at a boarding facility, respectively, 30 days prior to the onset of clinical signs or diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Diagnostic and epidemiological findings indicated 2 outbreaks. Transmission where dogs congregated likely propagated the community outbreak. Outbreaks of leptospiral infections can occur in regions of low prevalence, and a dog's exposure to areas where dogs congregate should be considered when making Leptospira vaccination recommendations.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 216 KB)
    • Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 211 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 193 KB)

Contributor Notes

Dr. Iverson's present address is the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC 20250.

Ms. Yaglom's present address is the Pathogen and Microbiome Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Flagstaff, AZ 86005.

Ms. Reynolds' present address is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, CDC, Cincinnati, OH 45226.

Ms. LaFerla Jenni's present address is the Department of Health and Social Care, British Embassy, Berlin, Germany 10117.

Mr. Woodward's present address is the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Dr. Reindel's present address is Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital, Gloversville, NY 12078.

Ms. Sylvester's present address is the Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

Address correspondence to Dr. Iverson (sallyann.iverson@usda.gov).